If any of my followers subscribe to The Hockey News like I do you will have seen the latest head line already. "Is Hockey Dying in CANADA?" it says, "Special Report: By 2016 at least 30,000 fewer kids will be playing the game. A national identity is in peril" After reading though that particular article I remembered the film Pond Hockey (if you haven't seen it kill an hour and watch it here, its very good. There are a few guys who discuss what I call the romantic side of hockey. Its a side I wish I grew up with, and so many lucky Canadians do. One would think that with frozen ponds and plenty of ice that hockey would be booming in Canada however its falling apart. Why? The loss of the romantic end. Somewhere in my mind there exists this kid, weird as this may sound, his age is always changing sometimes hes my age sometimes hes like six never younger, and he lives the life that I have only dreamed of. He lives not in California but somewhere cold, somewhere with long winters. He lives in a place where pond hockey is a regular thing, where I guy can slip out with his friends and enjoy a day out on the pond. They play hockey to play hockey. There are no coaches barking down their necks, they dont care if they win or lose or feel guilty if they mess up. Thats the kind of hockey I wish I had. Thats why I take all the chances to play pick up when I can. Even then I feel like I have been brought up in the hockey world that is full of great expectations that never come off of you. Even when im playing pick up there still seems to be that figure burned into my brain that torments me when I mess up, and even when Ive done well tells me I could have done better. That 50's style pick up game needs to come back. Too much is expected of kids who play just to have fun. I remember being 10 and for the first time feeling like the game was more than a game. I was expected to do a particular number of things on the ice. It stopped being a game and more like my parents asking me to take out the trash... bad coaches make the game a chore. Though there are crazy coaches out there who put far more burden on their teams than they should some good ones exist to. Most of the ideas im talking about come from a few recent coaches I have had as well as team sponsors and just level headed team parents. Hockey is a game and should be treated as such. To call it anything else is to suck the fun away from it. The minute you are expected to do anything but play, score a few points, maybe win, and have fun while doing it, its no longer a game and thus no longer fun. "Let the kids play" is something one of those level headed team parents told that one crazy coach I had. Around school I hear kids talking about their sports. "ugh I have [SPORT] today, we need to do [DRILL], and [DRILL] it sucks!" Sports shouldn't be like that. I ask them "why play if you hate it so much?" they say "well games are fun when you win but practice isnt". Again why must we make our sports a chore? Other kids hear that kind of talk at school and they wont ever want to play. I started playing because I heard kids at school talking about hockey and how much fun it was and their teams and stuff. Quite frankly it sounded like so much fun that I was jealous. Thats how it should be! Make kids want to play dont scare them off. Thats why I stopped playing baseball on and off; too many scary coaches who demanded too much of my young self. Sports should be an escape not a bit of work you do on the side that you kind of like.
Wood stick in hand, skates on tight, favorite jersey on, puck, and frozen pond. Add friends and some makeshift goals and you've got it made.
Winter Break written 12/17 @ 9pm
YEAH! Its winter break for me starting today! I haven't got any homework nor do I have any obligations I feel less than enthusiastic about! Im pretty excited for all the awesome Ive got planed.
I just got back from a bit of skating around with that hockey goalie buddy of mine. We went to my favorite restaurant that plays hockey and when we got in it was all basketball and I was WTF! Then one game ended and the Blackhawks Vs Redwings was gonna take its place and they changed the channel to another game!! BOOOO!!
All set to go up to those mountains for some shreadin! Glad I was invited to go.
Should be a good time. Im going with that one guy I called the french canadian. Hes been a pretty chill new friend as of late. Ive been making friends frighteningly easy these days. Ive always been told im a very affable person however these days one would swear I am a conversation magnet. It has left me fairly surprised as I have never had such ease in meeting new people as I have in recent months.
My latest evil genius project was finished a few days ago. It is a Free-To-Air satellite receiver. I picked up some Canadian programs. One was a documentary on the beaver. Then some Japanese news, and a repeated BBC signal. They played this song and now its been stuck in my head for a while. Its pretty cool whats out there for you to pick up. I finally made this whole thing official and working though with great clear picture. I found a 24 hour Japanese weather channel that shows ski conditions and has running slides of people snow boarding and skiing. That has just added to my excitement.
Thank you to David for this bit of laugh inducing video!
Alright well thats the latest.
Hope that all of you are doing well and that you all enjoy a safe and happy holiday.
Stay in good heath, be well. All my best goes out to you all.